Hong Kong Beat tripping with the Summer of Love at Woodstock 50 years on!

1969, The Summer of Love and Woodstock, 50 years on. Wow!

In this blogcast, Hong Kong Beat brings you a selection of tracks from the band set lists, in appearance order, from the three days of music and a dawning of a new age that, even though it wasn’t the biggest, best, or even the first music festival of its kind, it set down a marker in modern history of music and human culture.

At 14, it marked something in my life too, when on 15 August 1969 in UK, a friend of mine said he wanted to hitchhike there and I asked him how he hoped to get there in time and over the ocean. “Don’t be daft” he said, or something similar, “it’s at Woodstock, over near Oxford” (about 20 miles away from where we lived) – so, I learned that some people are dimmer than a burned out light bulb!

While it was all a bit mysterious to me at the time, it sent messages about music and its power to move people, something that struck a note with me as I had just had my first DJing experience a few months before, which led to my first kiss!

Peace out ✌️

(Click the picture for the music link)

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Hong Kong Beat wedding and events DJ wishes all a Happy Year of The Dog!

February 2018 marks the start year of the Earth Dog in the Chinese almanac bringing with it masculine energy, an outgoing and fun-loving vibe, and maybe even getting a little reckless…

So what better way to celebrate such a year with Hong Kong Beat than a mix of some heavy rocking and belting tunes about dogs, and well, their canine cousins.

Kung Hei Fat Choy, and wishing all a healthy, prosperous and successful Year of the Dog!

2016 In Requiem – Hong Kong Beat mobile disco’s tribute to those lost to the World of pop music

To many people, 2016 seemed to be a year that was relentless in seeing the deaths of so many icons of popular music and the arts. To be fair, it wasn’t the fault of the year, but simply that pop culture has been booming since the spread of the radio, then TV and, more recently, the Internet and social media; so that many of the icons of that boom have reached ages where there can be a fair expectation of old age or even premature deaths, especially given the lifestyles of some in those years.

Still, the passing of such icons as Bowie; Prince; the tragic deaths of indie rock band Viola Beach, some still in their teens; as well as some hugely influential promoters of the pop music World; have left us heading into 2017 with fingers crossed that it will be a kinder year.

The list below is long, and the roll call of those departed is noted under the track titles of this all-too-long sound track.

RIP so many talents, jam on…

NOTE – Songs in the set by Madonna, Manu Dibango and Ultravox represent other persons, as noted in the track list and below.

Keith Emerson 71 – pioneering innovative keyboardist with progressive rock giants ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’.
Marni Nixon 86 – the ‘greatest ghost singer’ frequently dubbed as the singing voice for the likes of Marilyn Monroe, Deborah Kerr, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn in many of the most famous musicals.
Leandro Gato Barbieri 83 – Argentine jazz musician and songwriter. Best known to many for the soundtrack to ‘Last Tango In Paris’.
Papa Wemba 66 – pioneer in blending African music with jazz and rock styles.
Henry McCullough 72 – musician and guitarist with ‘Paul McCartney’s Wings’.
Dale Griffin 67 – drummer for glam rock band ‘Mott The Hoople’.
Rick Parfitt 68 – The Wild Old Man Of Rock & Roll and ‘the Quo’ in ‘Status Quo’.
Jimmy Bain 68 – bass guitarist of rock bands ‘Rainbow’, ‘Thin Lizzy’ and ‘Dio’.
Matt Roberts 38 – Indie rock band ‘3 Doors Down’ founding member and guitarist.
Tom Searle 28 – songwriter and guitarist for  British metalcore band ‘Architects’.
Kris Leonard 20, River Reeves 19, Tomas Lowe 27, Jack Dakin 19 – all members of  indie band ‘Viola Beach’, tragically killed together in a car accident at the start of a promising career.
Paul Kantner 74 – co-founder of 60s psychedelic rock pioneers ‘Jefferson Airplane’ and later ‘Jefferson Airship’.
Signe Tole Anderson 74 – the original female vocalist for ‘Jefferson Airplane’.
John Berry 52 – original member and inventor of the band name for ‘Beastie Boys’.
Glenn Frey 67 – co-founder of ‘The Eagles’ and writer of many of their hits, as well a successful solo career.
Prince 57.
Robert Stigwood 81 – manager, producer and promoter of many era defining artists such as Cream, Eric Clapton, and Bee Gees; producer of culture defining movies Saturday Night fever and Grease, as well as a string of hit stage rock musicals, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Hair and Evita. Founder of the Robert Stigwood Organisation (RSO) entertainment empire.
Pete Burns 57 – lead singer of 80s new-wave band ‘Dead or Alive’.
Phife Dawg 45 – rapper and co-founder of hip-hop band ‘A Tribe Called Quest’.
Billy Paul 80 – pioneer soulful singer of modern R&B.
George Michael 53 – iconic and prolific singer of  80s and 90s pop music culture as part of ‘Wham’ and later as as a solo artist.
Bernie Worrell 72 – The Wizard of Woo, acclaimed keyboard wizard with the ‘Parliament-Funakdelic’ empire.
David Bowie 66.
Vanity (Denise Matthews) 57 – Canadian dancer, and as part of ‘Vanity 6’, disco-funk music protege of Prince.
Colonel Abrams 67 – 80s and 90s R&B and disco hit artist.
David Mancuso 72 – DJ and dance culture pioneer, founder of the New York loft parties that gave rise to the disco and, later, house music movements. In 1972 he discovered an obscure track by Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango that went on to be one of the most genre defining tracks of the disco and funk genres, and was widely sampled in many later hits.
Rod Temperton 66 – musician with the UK funk band ‘Heatwave’, but also writer for so many iconic dance tracks including, among many others, ‘Thriller’, ‘Rock With You’, ‘Off the Wall’, ‘Stomp!’, ‘Give Me The Night’, ‘Razzamatazz’, and ‘Yah Mo B There’.
Leonard Cohen 82 – visionary songwriter and poet.
George Martin 90 – the man who brought the Beatles to the mainstream, but was also responsible for so many hit tunes by other artists, some you would never guess!
Prince Buster 79 – Jamaican ska pioneer.
Scotty Moore 84 – guitarist from Elvis’ original backing band ‘The Blue Moon Boys’, and who played with Elvis throughout his career.
Bobby Vee 73 – clean cut American pop idol of the 60s, whose break at 15 came as a last minute stand in at a scheduled concert by Buddy Holly, who had just died in an air crash, simply because he knew all the words.
Lee Andrews 79 – leader of 50s doo wop group ‘Lee Andrews & The Hearts’ (and father of Khalib Thompson of the highly influential hip hop band The Roots).
Sharon Jones 60 – ‘The Godmother of Soul’. Big voiced soul revival singer with ‘The Dap Kings’.
Merle Haggard 79 – country music icon. You don’t know country if you don’t know the words to all of Merle Haggard’s songs.
Black (Colin Vearncombe) 53 – 80s English singer-songwriter.
Maurice White 74 – founder of disco funk giants ‘Earth, Wind & Fire’.
Greg Lake 69 – founding member of ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’ and pioneer of the progressive rock genre.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco wishes all its Aussie mates a great Australia Day, with some rocking downunder artists

Strewth, chuck a shrimp on the barbie and crack a tinny or two blue! (Said in my best Barry Humphries/Paul Hogan strine)

Being at the ‘other end of the Earth’ from most of the biggest music markets (Europe, USA), Australian and New Zealand artists haven’t always been greatly popular outside of their home countries, or even known – obvious exceptions of course. But there’s always been more to music from Downunder than the Bee Gees, Kylie, or AC/DC, quite a few that people didn’t even realise were Antipodean.

So, to celebrate Australia Day what better way than to chuck a few rockers on the decks and enjoy some great Aussie and Kiwi pub and new wave rock.

She’s bonza mate!

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco tribute to David Bowie, Part 2 – The Thin White Duke

I remember the first time I dropped ‘Fame’ at Carriages club, Swindon, not because it was my 20th birthday, not because it segued so well after Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’, but for the number of funk fans who just kept dancing to this great new funky tune… Not that they knew it was Bowie!

I remember even more the astonishment, a few coming to the booth to check the single, when I said “Now THAT was… David Bowie!”.

It was pretty much unheard of me to play anything but R&B artists in those days, and that night we even had a couple of successful UK R&B recording artists in the club who were blown away by the sound coming from a man who, until that moment, had embodied white glam-rock.

Bowie didn’t invent ‘blue-eyed soul’, others like The Righteous Brothers and Frankie Valli had already established that, but the Thin White Duke went on to make the genre his own.

The second part of this tribute shows Bowie in his post Ziggy days, sometimes experimenting with new music scenes, sometimes diving into mainstream dance, but then seemingly just concentrating on his art rather than the showmanship that he had become associated with.

There’s dance; there’s rock; there’s new wave; there’s funk; there’s soul; there’s even a little return to glam-rock; then there’s Lazarus, which surely must be his self-penned epitaph.

So saluté and farewell David Bowie! I hope you all enjoy this fan’s humble thanks for the excitement and delight he’s given over the years.

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco tribute to David Bowie, Part 1 – The Man Who Fell To Earth

It was such a shock to hear the news about Bowie the other day, especially as a few days before on his 69th birthday I saw a post on his FB official page talking about his plans for his 70th…

It’s hard to comprehend the commitment of the man to his art having now watched the video for ‘Lazarus’ after his death… Even harder now to think how much influence he had on my formative music tastes as a teen, and remembering the excitement of the last night of his Serious Moonlight Tour held in Hong Kong.

Utterly stunning news, even though we know it comes to all of us, even the gifted.

I wanted to put a quick tribute together to the man and found that, in addition to his iconic music from the 70s, there was so much more and so much different in the four decades he recorded in since then to just put out the familiar tunes. Gone it seems was the full-on flaunting of his love affair with fame, transcending into a more introspective flirting with his ego, culminating in his last album release while alive, Blackstar.

So there are two parts, Part 1, in this blog, brings together a selection of the biggest tunes and a few personal favourites and versions from the Ziggy era. Part 2 will follow, bringing music from his transformation into the Thin White Duke and beyond, forever the chameleon of rock and roll.

Farewell Starman, we know you will forever be waiting in the sky.

 

Hong Kong Beat mobile disco goes to the movies with iconic rock movie anthems

First blogcast of 2016 finds Hong Kong Beat in a rocking mood, and inspired by digging back into some classic, and some raspberry blowing, movies from the past, digs out a little personal selection of iconic rock anthems from the movies.

And what a great idea for a party theme night!

Some of these were bigger success than the movies themselves!